In Memoriam

Gary W. Neisz
Commanding Officer
Worcester (CL 144) Division
U.S. Naval Sea Cadets
2000 to 2004

    Gary Neisz served as the third Commanding Officer of Worcester (CL 144) Division of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets from June 2000 until his death in February 2004. A decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War, Gary devoted his life to the service of his country and its citizens. He was highly active in the Marine Corps Toys for Tot program and served as the Director of the Family Support Advocacy Program at Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center Worcester, Massachusetts. Gary’s influence on the Sea Cadets was wide reaching. Through his efforts, the division became one of the hallmark units in the New England Region and the Nation. In his honor, the Gary Neisz Memorial Scholarship was established in 2004. Each year a graduating cadet from Worcester (CL 144) Division who best displays the traits of Honor, Courage and Commitment will receive this scholarship. It is a fitting tribute to a man who gave so much, and asked for nothing in return.


    The Naval Sea Cadet Corps had its beginning in Great Britain over 300 years ago. Lord Nelson was a Royal Navy Sea Cadet. The Sea Cadet program has been in existance in Canada for over 100 years. Sea Cadet Corps' exist in Germany, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Canada, The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, and New Zealand. In 1958, following studies of British and Canadian Sea Cadet Corps', the idea of the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps was presented to various members of Congress, to the Secretary of the Navy, to the Chief of Naval Operations, and to the National Convention of the Navy League. In 1958 the Navy League agreed to the idea and formally established the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps and the U.S. Navy League Cadet Corps. On 01 January 1959, the pilot unit (9-1-1 Division, Great Lakes, IL) was chartered in Lake County, IL and within a year 15 additional divisions were formed across the nation. On 10 September 1962, the NSCC was federally incorporated by Congress under Public Law 87-655 as a non-profit civilian education organization, a legal entity separate from the Navy League. This law was later amended to permit enrollment of young women in the Corps. The objectives and purposes of the NSCC as in this law (as amended) are: "...through organization and cooperation with the Department of the Navy, to encourage and aid American youth to develop, train them in seagoing skills, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance and kindred virtues."

    Today, the NSCC has formed partnerships with organizations such as the Foundation for Teaching Economics and the Flying Midshipman Association to offer cadets broader opportunities in areas of leadership and aviation. The NSCC also took an active part in the creation of the International Sea Cadet Association (ISCA). The ISCA is an association of Sea Cadet Corps' from around the world, whose main objective is to facilitate exchanges of cadets between member countries.